Sizing up to divide: mitotic cell-size control in fission yeast


Schizosaccharomyces pombe is a good model to study cell-size control. These cells integrate size information into cell cycle controls at both the G1/S and G2/M transitions, although the primary control operates at the entry into mitosis. At G2/M there is both a size threshold, demonstrated by the fact that cells divide when they reach 14 μm in length, and also correction around this threshold, evident from the narrow distribution of sizes within a population. This latter property is referred to as size homeostasis. It has been argued that a population of cells accumulating mass in a linear fashion will have size homeostasis in the absence of size control, if cycle time is controlled by a fixed timer. Because fission yeast cells do not grow in a simple linear fashion, they require a size-sensing mechanism. However, current models do not fully describe all aspects of this control, especially the coordination of cell size with ploidy.

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